The latest figures from Greece indicate that the country installed 300 MW of solar PV in January (more than Germany’s 275 MW). The stats come from LAGIE, which is the operator of the Greece electricity grid. Here are some more stats from LAGIE:

  • This 300 MW January total is over 1/3 the new capacity Greece installed in total last year (890 MW).
  • This 300 MW January total is over twice as much as LAGIE projected would be installed in a report published just last month (121 MW).
  • 282 MW were from ground-mounted solar PV projects, while the remaining 18 MW were from rooftop solar installations.
  • Current cumulative solar PV capacity in Greece is 1.72 GW.
  • New projections have Greece’s cumulative solar PV capacity at 2.58 GW by the end of 2013, and 2.82 GW by the end of 2014.

The surge in installations is due in part to upcoming changes to Greece’s solar feed-in tariffs. Lower rates kick in on March 11, spurring a bit of a boom in development.

Cutting Red Tape

Like pretty much everywhere, bureaucratic red tape is slowing solar power growth in Greece. As such, Greece’s Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks (MINDEV) introduced a bill at the end of February aimed at “creating a friendly environment for the strategic and private investments.” The bill is expected to be approved and implemented by April. This should offset the lower feed-in tariffs a bit.

PV Magazine writes:

The main goal is to reduce red tape and increase flexibility among the Greek public institutions and agencies dealing with fast track projects. For this reason, it proposes the establishment of a General Licensing Directory, which will serve as a one-stop shop for strategic investors looking to license their projects.

Furthermore, the bill proposes changes to the legislative framework, in order to allow more projects to be granted fast track status….

Particularly for photovoltaics, the new bill provides investors who either own or build projects the opportunity to apply for a project extension. It also removes an old condition that required developers to apply for permission to change photovoltaic equipment. Thus, if the bill is passed, they will be free to alter the investment plan and change equipment, as long as the project’s new total installed power does not exceed 10% of the initial capacity.

Additionally, the bill makes the licensing process simpler for solar PV projects up to 100 kilowatts in size.

Unfortunately, red tape isn’t the biggest barrier to solar power development in Greece. The biggest barrier is financial restraints. This bill doesn’t touch on that topic.